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Social ambulance

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

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A unique project in Romania, which has led to an increase in the quality of life and to a reduction in medical care costs, was the initiative of the Mayor of the Town Hall of the second district, Mr. Neculai Onţanu. ‘Social Ambulance’ has the following motto ‘Emergency is a working method, not an end’. Based on the principle of social partnership, the Social Ambulance is an optimal solution for providing full and complex sociomedical services to under-privileged social categories (elderly persons with disabilities, people on low income). Five years after its launch, this project has proved to be very effective for the target groups.

Out of the total population of the district, 4 232 people are registered with the General Department of Social Assistance and Child Protection of the second district as potential beneficiaries of the Social Ambulance services. They can be categorised as follows: 1 093 elderly persons (bedridden, with terminal illnesses, with chronic illnesses), 2 300 people with disabilities (bedridden, with oncological diseases, needing recovery), 253 people without shelter, 284 people at social risk (beneficiaries of the minimum guaranteed income and of the benefit for rent payment), as well as 302 people taken over from hospital (treated at home or institutionalised persons). Considering the significant number of people in social risk situations and the absence of an integrated service bridging the social and medical areas and also based on a review of community needs, we implemented the ‘Social Ambulance’ project in October 2003, which aims to ensure socio-medical services for various categories of persons assisted by our institution. It is not a substitute for medical emergencies but is a complementary service that represents the bridge between social and medical domains. Initiated as a solution against social exclusion, the service has a 24/7 telephone number, 9862, where medical assistance cases and social cases can be reported.

Hospitals are faced with situations in which homeless people are brought in who need hospitalisation and treatment. Often, such people are unable to pay the costs, as they have no income or medical insurance, and remain in hospital for indefinite periods. This is how the idea of the ‘Social Ambulance’ came about. The second district of the Bucharest municipality is the first territorial administrative unit in Romania to establish this service against poverty and death in solitude. Homeless people, those at social risk, elderly people, handicapped people, victims of domestic violence and disaster victims receive help from the public servants of the Social Ambulance.

Award info
Award category: public service delivery
Award type: submission
Award year: 2009
Project type
Sector: Public administration, modernisation, institutional affairs, reform
Type of activity: quality management
Keywords: Socio-medical services, health care services, social exclusion
Short English description: Based on the principle of social partnership, the Social Ambulance is an optimal solution for providing full and complex sociomedical services to under-privileged social categories
Further information
Organisation: Second District City Hall, Bucharest
Other applicants:
Homepage:
Level of government: local level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved:
Country: Romania
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:


Social ambulance (44.437711° N, 26.097367° E)
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